Turtle Island Foods (d/b/a Tofurky) makes plant-based food products, such as plant-based burgers, sausages, etc. It sued the Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner because of concerns about liability under that state’s Truth in Labeling of Food Products Act, which imposes civil penalties for “representing a food product as meat .. when the food product is not derived” from an animal.

The Fifth Circuit held as follows:

  1. Standing. Tofurky had standing. It did not have to “establish that it openly intends to violate the Act”; only that “its intended action–continuing with its ‘plant-based’ labels that use meat-esque words–is arguably proscribed.”
  2. Merits. Louisiana argued that by its terms, the law “applies only to ‘persons who intentionally misbrand or misrepresent” facts about a food product. In the context of a facial challenge, the Court was “required ‘to accept a narrowing construction of a state law in order to preserve its constitutionality.’” With the issue so framed, the Court ruled for the state and reversed the trial court’s injunction against eno

Turtle Island Foods v. Strain, No. 22-30236 (April 12, 2023) (citations omitted).

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